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The Dancing Plague

Just a lonely man,
High on this road,
With a piping flute at my lips,
And an empty purse in tow.

Ahead lies a town,
In which the rats prevail,
Plague on their backs,
And grain in their hands.

“Listen well, you hear!”
I cry, offering my services.
The townspeople stop,
Scoff as their rodents flourish.

“I can take off these beasties,
Drown them one by one.
I’ll do it for gold coin,
And for no insolent tongues.”

And these villagers,
They laughed!
They granted me to try,
But called me daft.

And so I scowled,
But paraded into their square.
And when I played,
They came, sickness in their stares.

But, oh, how they followed me!
And I forced them to dance.
To dance for the people,
To dance for their pain.

And off again I went,
Pestilence in tow,
Leading them to crystalline waters,
Where they proceeded to enter the flow.

And then I watched,
Beamed as they squealed,
Droplets in their whiskers,
Watery deaths completing the deal.

But the villagers,
They scowled,
Offered me no coin,
And no guarantee.

And so, I climbed on their roofs,
Played my merry tune,
Summoned their offspring,
And watched as they hit the streets.

The parents, how they wailed!
Threw coins into my lap,
Demanded their return,
And sobbed at the death of their brats.

But the lame boy, he watched me.
He observed their horror,
Their unfettered disbelief,
And wished for more.

So as I left the town,
My pockets no longer light,
And when I passed that lame boy,
I passed him my pipe.

Hamelin, I hear,
Stands only as a traitor,
What existed before is now an unfettered,
monstrous black crater.

But that lame boy,
He’s now a king,
And where once was a wasteland,
Is now free of all that is unclean.

And so,
Whether it be man or beast,
Life is better here,
And I’m no longer disrespected in the least.



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